10 Plants for Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden
I love winter. It’s the best season for getting prepared for a new gardening season. I love to cuddle up by a fire, drink some tasty hot chocolate, drool over my favorite gardening catalogs, and plan my future garden. It’s a lovely, peaceful season for dreaming about possible future garden productivity.
However, I do NOT want to read only garden catalogs (for real!). I also love reading new gardening books. This has been tough to find. I read plenty of great homesteading books (like the ones I mention in my gifts for gardeners post), and those homesteading books have a section or two about gardening which are great to read. But sometimes I just want to curl up by my fire with a great gardening book.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this gardening book is PERFECT for me! This book goes WAY beyond just suburban gardening. The Suburban Micro-Farm has some of the best info I’ve read lately on: garden soil amendments, choosing crops for your garden, how to plan your garden, how to garden when you’re busy, and so much more.
I’ve already gone through the book twice, and now I’m going to grab a notebook, reread it again, and write some great notes for my OWN garden plans, because there is just so much great stuff in The Suburban Micro-Farm (buy it here).
Enough rambling, though. One thing Amy mentions in her book (buy it here!) was about the best plants for attracting beneficial insects to your garden. I had already wanted to learn more about this subject, so this chapter was super helpful for me.
Here’s a bit what I learned:
10 Plants for Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden:
- Bee Balm: Bee Balm is a great plant for your garden. The nectar attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators as well. In addition, lacewings (a beneficial insect) prefers the leaves as a habitat for laying their eggs. The scent can also repel insects if you plant it in your vegetable garden. I’ve written about how to grow bee balm here.
- Borage: I LOVE borage in my garden! Bees love the purple star-shaped flowers of the borage plant. It easily self-seeds, and you can use borage, too, for a tasty tea (like this one). Here’s how to grow borage.
- Comfrey: The bell-shaped purple flowers of the comfrey plant are a popular source of nectar for many pollinators and beneficial insects. I even find garden toads hiding in the shady comfort of the giant leaves of my comfrey plant. And there are ALWAYS bees on the flowers. Plus, I recently made comfrey infused oil for future projects, so there are plenty of other reasons why you should grow comfrey.
- Coriander: Not only do pollinators LOVE coriander (and other members of the carrot family), it also attracts beneficial insects including: ladybugs, hoverflies, parasitic wasps, and lacewings. Buy your coriander seeds here.
- Dill: Dill is also a member of the carrot family, and the yellow flower stage of the dill plant attracts beneficial insects such as ladybugs, hoverflies, parasitic wasps, and lacewings. I get my dill here.
- Fennel: Another member of the carrot family, fennel also attracts ladybugs, hoverflies, parasitic wasps, and lacewings. Just don’t plant it next to your dill, because they can cross-pollinate. Here’s my post on how to grow Fennel.
- Lovage: Lovage tastes a bit like celery, and is a tall perennial plant. The greenish-yellow flowers attract many kinds of pollinators, and beneficial insects often seek shelter in the foliage. Learn how to grow lovage here.
- Roman Chamomile: Not only does chamomile make a tasty tea, beneficial insects are drawn to those delightfully scented flowers, too! Pollinators love these flowers. Here’s how to grow your own chamomile.
- Sunflowers: Sunflowers provide nectar for many pollinating insects, and the giant leaves provide shelter for many beneficial insects. You can also use the seeds that the giant heads produce to feed beneficial birds. Score! Get your seeds to grow your own here.
- Yarrow: Every garden should have this perennial herb. It attract the most variety of beneficial insects and pollinators are attracted to their showy flowers. Plus, the somewhat stinky scent repel bad insects. They have medicinal benefits for humans as well. Learn more about yarrow in this post.
I already had some of these plants in my garden, but I’m excited to add more of them to my garden this year. I really look forward to providing more ways to attract beneficial insects for a natural and happy garden space.
What about you? Which of these plants do you already grow? Which ones are you hoping to try this coming gardening season? Tell me in the comment section. I LOVE hearing from you guys!
I strongly recommend getting The Suburban Micro-Farm book by Amy Stross (buy it here). It is seriously one of the BEST gardening books that I have read in a long, long time. And while you’re at it, check out her website, The Tenth Acre Farm, too. She’s got LOADS of great info over there!
Click here to buy this book!